Today’s Reading: Ezek 19:1–20:49, Rev 9:1–21, Job 34:31–37
Today’s Theme: Planted by God
Today’s theme looks at the planting of God. God plants us in the body of Christ (literally in the church community), to be fruitful and flourish. God has planted the restored national Israel. He has done this with salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah in mind for the Jewish people.
God strategically plants His people for the sake of His name and glory.
Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard planted by the water, fruitful and full of branches by reason of abundant water.(Ezekiel 19:10, ESV)
We can be fruitful if there is an abundance of the water of God’s word and Holy Spirit.
Where are you planted?
Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land.(Ezekiel 19:13, ESV)
Lord, in Your grace, please keep us planted with the abundance of water. Jesus has planted us where He wills in the earth and in the church in particular, so that we are in the right environment to bare much fruit.
Don’t uproot yourself in ignorance and pride, humbly submit to God’s planting which is designed for your fruitfulness and flourishing.
The best land in the world
On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands.(Ezekiel 20:6, ESV)
This is a bold statement from God that Israel is the best land in the World. Also note that God wants the best for His people.
And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.(Ezekiel 20:7, ESV)
What are the detestable things our eyes feast on, these things are connected to idolatry and must be cast down. In today’s culture, it can be things like vanity, pornography etc.
Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.(Ezekiel 20:12, ESV)
The plural Sabbaths points to Jewish feasts.
God, uppermost in His own affections
But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.(Ezekiel 20:14, ESV)
God is rightly uppermost in His own affections.
A heart problem
because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.(Ezekiel 20:16, ESV)
Sin and idolatry is a heart problem.
But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.(Ezekiel 20:22, ESV)
God’s greatest and purest motivation is for the sake of His own name and for the sake of His glory.
Gift’s and commands
Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord.(Ezekiel 20:25–26, ESV)
God can send judgement through our very gifts and His commands. Lord, keep us in your love.
God knows your mind
“What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.’(Ezekiel 20:32, ESV)
God knows our very thoughts and remains in sovereign control.
The great narrative
“As I live, declares the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you.(Ezekiel 20:33, ESV)
This is one of the great narratives of the bible, God’s desire and fight to be recognised as the true King.
Restored for salvation
And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.(Ezekiel 20:42, ESV)
One of God’s purposes in restoring the Jews to the land is evangelical.
The burden of leadership
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of parables?’ ”(Ezekiel 20:49, ESV)
Seems like Ezekiel was beginning to get weary under the Lord’s mandate and the peoples scorn. With this in mind, pray for those that God has called to lead.
Sovereign over death
And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.(Revelation 9:6, ESV)
Nobody can die before God’s appointed time for them.
A fallen angel
They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.(Revelation 9:11, ESV)
A great demonic fallen angel, proving there is some level of structure in the devil’s ranks.
We need regeneration
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.(Revelation 9:20–21, ESV)
This shows that without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, no amount of judgement alone can lead man to repentance.
Speaking without knowledge
‘Job speaks without knowledge; his words are without insight.’(Job 34:35, ESV)
This was in fact true, Job had no idea about the wager between God and Satan in the divine council.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Revelation 9